It's a little on the nose to, literally, toss a life-sized cardboard cutout of your former partner in the trash the same day that news breaks about your breakup. But then again, we're talking about Ben Affleck, whose many faces of exasperation have encapsulated the internet's biggest moods.
After a nearly year-long, heavily paparazzi-documented romance, Ben Affleck and Knives Out actress Ana de Armas have split, People reported yesterday. And if that story seemed at all iffy given its unnamed source, a tweet from the Ana de Armas stan account @armasupdates made it clear: In two images, a masked person—whom the account has presumed to be Casey Affleck—places a cardboard cutout of a smiling Ana de Armas in a black plastic trash bin. People reported that de Armas was the one to break off the relationship, but Affleck clearly did some dumping of his own. One can only aspire to this level of public pettiness.
Those who weren't hanging on every tweet from Ana de Armas Updates might wonder, however, why exactly Affleck has a life-sized rendering of de Armas in the first place. The tale of the cardboard cutout wasn't always so sad. On June 4, 2020, de Armas was seen playing with the cardboard standee with Affleck's young children, whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Garner. This, according to the Daily Mail, suggested that de Armas was making a "lasting impression" on them; just a few weeks earlier, US Weekly had reported that Affleck wanted the actress to spend time with his kids.
By the next day, the cutout was planted on Affleck's front lawn. According to Ana de Armas Updates, this move was intended to troll the "obsessed paparazzi," who relentlessly followed the couple's outings (and inadvertently turned Affleck into a Dunkin' Donuts influencer as a result). Though the exact origin of the cutout remains unknown, write-ups from Vulture and Page Six suggested the same explanation: that the actress commissioned it as a way to poke fun at photographers. In the months between then and now, little had been seen of de Armas's cardboard likeness.
Page Six reports that Affleck's hesitation to "start a new family" caused the current rift, but an insider source left open the possibility that the two would reconcile their differences. Perhaps a new cardboard cutout will also be born.
Vulture said it best: "Please, please let us know if you rescued Ben Affleck’s Ana de Armas cutout from the trash." It deserves its place in the celebrity breakup Hall of Fame, right next to Britney Spears's iconic "Dump Him" tee. And should you find inspiration in this petty act, custom cardboard cutouts aren't very hard to come by; a life-sized standee will run you just $54.99 on CardboardCutoutStandees.com. And if you have a bad breakup, you'll get the extra validation of hurling it into the trash.